Monday, September 19, 2016

Human bones moved to Mauna Kea by TMT protester, facial recognition in Hawaii tourism ads, rape test kit results lag, Kauai police continue body cameras, Kenoi rushes to finish projects as trial looms, Maui gay resort gets new owner, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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An ahu atop Mauna Kea © 2016 All Hawaii News
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating a case in which someone allegedly disinterred human remains and put them in a shrine at the proposed site of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

A Hilo man says an ahu built at the Thirty Meter Telescope site atop Mauna Kea should be protected after he deposited human remains there. Palikapu Dedman, who is facing potential criminal charges, told the Tribune-Herald he placed iwi, or bones, belonging to an ancestor on the stone altar last September and then again earlier this month after realizing the first set of bones were missing. Tribune-Herald.

The world of personal advertising isn’t quite there yet, but Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Expedia are inching closer. They will roll out the “Discover Your Aloha” campaign on Sept. 26, which uses facial recognition software to personalize Hawaii advertising content. Star-Advertiser.

State and federal lawmakers are promising to improve conditions for hundreds of foreign fishermen working in Hawaii’s commercial fleet, and at least one company has already stopped buying fish from the boats following an Associated Press investigation that found the men have been confined to vessels for years without basic labor protections. Associated Press.

All four of Hawaii’s county police departments have failed to comply with a Sept. 1 statutory deadline requiring them to report to the attorney general’s office the number of untested rape kits they have in storage and the dates the forensic evidence was collected from alleged victims of sexual assault. Star-Advertiser.

Two top bond rating agencies last week upgraded their credit ratings for the state of Hawaii by a notch to the second-highest possible, a change that will allow the state to pay less interest when it borrows money later this month to finance state construction projects and to refinance debt. Star-Advertiser.

A Tennessee man was arrested Friday for allegedly making death threats against U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Civil Beat.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii followed through on Wednesday on its promise to sue a bigoted politician who is attempting to run for Congress as a Democrat in one race and as a Republican in a separate race. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The work to build Honolulu rail’s first 10 miles of elevated pathway is costing Kiewit Infrastructure West at least $100 million, according to a former project consultant with knowledge of the situation. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral candidate Charles Djou has chastised Mayor Kirk Caldwell for eliminating a program designed to reduce the overuse of ambulances by chronic 911 callers. Star-Advertiser.

Chinatown Tries To Hang On To Tradition, Even As It Changes. Young professionals are moving to Chinatown to take advantage of the cheaper rents as well as new bars and restaurants. Civil Beat.

First wave-produced electricity in U.S. goes online in Hawaii. Associated Press.

The state health department confirmed a new case of hepatitis A today in a food service worker on Oahu. The infected person worked at Chart House Waikiki. The latest case brings the total of confirmed hepatitis A cases in the outbreak to 271. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

More than two years behind schedule and at least $228,000 over budget, the Ka'u gym project is becoming the gunk on the track slowing Mayor Billy Kenoi’s sprint to untie as many maile lei as he can before leaving office in early December. West Hawaii Today.

The criminal trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi will go forward after a judge refused to throw out charges, including felony theft, stemming from his alleged misuse of his county credit card. Star-Advertiser.

The prosecutor in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s theft case said during a pretrial hearing Friday in Hilo he plans to call an FBI forensic accountant as an expert witness to go through the mayor’s personal and family finances. Tribune-Herald.

A judge has denied Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi's motions aimed at getting the theft case against him thrown out. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi will go on trial in October for theft relating to alleged misuse of his county credit card. KHON2.

Hawaiian Springs, which currently utilizes a well in Keaau, has submitted a proposed plan with the Hawaii County Planning Department for the “Pahala Town Square &Hawaiian Springs Facility.” Tribune-Herald.

Maui

West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey and South Maui County Council Member Don Couch are calling on Gov. David Ige to stop - at least temporarily - construction of a seawall near Olowalu intended to prevent a section of Honoapiilani Highway from being washed away. Maui News.

Representative Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Māʻalaea, Kīhei) sent a letter to Governor David Ige on Friday, asking him to suspend the Department of Transportation’s work on the Honoapiʻilani Highway seawall near Olowalu.  Rep. McKelvey said he made the request, “so a cooling off period can be used to ensure that the concerns of the community are given a fair hearing.” Maui Now.

Wesley Lo, the chief executive officer of public hospitals in Maui County who helped shepherd a public-private partnership measure through the state Legislature, will be leaving his post Oct. 31, creating a leadership void as the hospitals make an operational transition to Kaiser Permanente in July. Maui News.

The Maui Sunseeker, the north Kihei shoreline resort known for catering to the LGBT community, has a new owner and a new name. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai Police Department plans to keep its officers outfitted with body cameras. Garden Island.

Progress on a project to create a 5.3-megawatt hydropower plant on state-owned land on the Kokee Ditch Irrigation System has been halted. That’s because the developer failed to meet construction deadlines, and the state withdrew the right to use the property, according to an Aug. 31 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order terminating the permit exemption. Garden Island.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and a few other public officials have intervened in a complaint at a state-owned housing complex, resulting in the promise of flooring upgrades, but questions still linger. Garden Island.

Genki Sushi reopens to wave of loyal customers. Garden Island.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is looking into a cache of cars abandoned south of Anahola Bay, brought to light by cleanup crews with Surfrider Kauai’s Net Patrol. Garden Island.